Category Archives: Policy

Weekly wrap – April 24

Open Internet Coalition opposes Open Access
Markham Erikson of the Open Internet Coalition says they want Title II “reclassification”, but he doesn’t want to go back to the days of Title II “Open Access” which required broadband operators to provide competing ISPs with access to the Broadband transport infrastructure. This diverges from Net Neutrality supporters like Public Knowledge, the Berkman Center, and Susan Crawford.

Dubious claims about BitTorrent network friendliness
BitTorrent’s CEO continues to spread the word that the BitTorrent Micro Transport Protocol is “network friendly” even though the company knows this to be false. The test data shows it’s false, and BitTorrent producte managers don’t dispute the data.

Telephone wire still good for 100 – 300 Mbps
The old telephone wire may have several more years of life left in the age of hundred Mbps broadband because Alcatel-Lucent has achieved 300 Mbps performance at distances of 400 meters, and 100 Mbps at 1000 meters. The technology could be commercially available by 2011 and will be a formidable competitor to Cable.

Google tracking and mapping your wireless devices
There are reports that Google is tracking people’s Wi-Fi MAC addresses and will be mapping them onto Google Maps. The MAC address which can uniquely identify a person’s laptop, smartphone, or any other device with 802.11 Wi-Fi capability.

How to waste perfectly good mobile radio spectrum

I was wrong about Claudville’s White Spaces implementation
I erred on criticizing Spectrum Bridge and the city of Claudville for wasting White Space mobile spectrum on a backhaul network because it turns out that they were using 200 MHz White Space spectrum for a last-mile broadband network. Spectrum Bridge has a temporary “experimental” license to use this spectrum but once White Spaces becomes unlicensed, it could cause problems for the broadband network.

White space backhauls – A penny wise and a pound foolish
When government gives away super valuable 700 MHz mobile spectrum, it gets wasted on wireless backhaul which could have used 5 GHz. While 700 MHz might save a little money on backhaul costs, it saves a lot more money on access and mobile networks. Commercial operators that paid billions of dollars for 700 MHz spectrum would never waste valuable spectrum like this.

When Google spokesperson Dan Martin called White Spaces the “Wi-Fi on steroids”, he had the right analogy but drew the wrong conclusion that this was somehow a good thing.  Unlicensed Wi-Fi on 700 MHz would be more like wireless on “roid rage” where unlicensed 700 MHz radios would smash everything in a 50 meter radius resulting in a tragedy of the commons.

What’s so new about the Nexus One business model?

Update – Google ETF is actually $550 on top of the $180 you already paid!  So if you pull out early, you’ll have to pay $730 total!

I know Justin was impressed with the business model Google’s new Nexus One phone, but I really don’t see how it’s any different.  You can buy the phone from Google for $529 without a carrier subsidy, or you can pay $179 with a T-Mobile subsidy.  You buy the phone directly from Google, but how’s that any different than buying an iPhone directly from Apple?

Furthermore, it seems that Google isn’t very honest about the Early Termination Fee.  It’s actually $350 if you break the contract early but Google advertises a $200 ETF.  Verizon honestly advertises a $350 ETF and they’re being persecuted by some members of the FCC and by the so-called consumer advocacy groups who haven’t made a peep about Google’s misleading advertising or the $350 ETF.  Why such an obvious double standard?

The Nexus One is made by HTC and it seems to be fairly impressive with an 800×480 OLED display and a 1 GHz ARM processor.  But according to Michael Arrington, it only gets 1.5 hours of battery life when he games with the display at full brightness.  That’s pretty pathetic considering the fact that a full size laptop gets more than that.

The real purpose behind Net Neutrality is anything but honorable

Many of use suspected that there were ulterior motives behind Net Neutrality regulations, but we never thought it would be this blatantly underhanded.  I had a chance to speak with one of the biggest experts on Internet peering William Norton and it was an eyeopener for me.  The resulting article below has some very interesting revelations.

FCC NPRM ban on Paid Peering harms new innovators

The current FCC NPRM would prohibit paid peering agreements and harm small content providers while ensuring Google’s dominance on content distribution. Google is big enough to get free peering, but the NPRM would force their competitors to pay more for inferior transit access.

Debunking the hype that the new BitTorrent protocol is “network friendly”

uTP-network-friendlyThe story that the new BitTorrent client uTorrent 2.0 is “network friendly” is making the top headlines on the Web and mailing lists.  The only problem with this story it that it has no actual data to back up its assertions.  I took the time yesterday to run some tests on the new uTorrent 2.0 beta build 16850 which supports the new “friendly” BitTorrent UTP.  Based on my initial testing, the claim that the new BitTorrent client is network friendly appears to be false.

Read the rest at Digital Society.

GAO says flu will bring down Internet

The GAO concluded that just 40% of the workforce staying home from illness would lead to severe Internet congestion, but what happens every day after school and after work when everyone is home?  That’s just one obvious hole in the GAO report but the draconian conclusion it draws about the need to block recreational services, especially low bandwidth applications like online gaming is particularly alarming.

Read the rest of my article at Digital Society.
GAO concludes 40% sick employees can cause severe congestion

Animated presentation explaining the need for a prioritized Internet

Quality of Service (QoS) Network prioritization is a very complex technology that is often misunderstood and maligned. Because it is difficult to explain in words and pictures alone, I’ve created a 7 minute animated presentation that attempts to simplify the concept for non-engineers. The first few slides are mostly text so you can skip ahead at your own pace. Please enjoy the presentation.

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FCC 5th principle must allow for reasonable discrimination

As most of us have heard by now, the FCC announced yesterday their intention to create a new “5th principle” of nondiscrimination on the Internet. While there are some serious questions as to whether this is a wise mandate for wireless Internet services, such a principle applied to wired Internet services could be a good thing if it allows for reasonable discrimination.

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